Unfortunately in 2018, basketball debates get into “but did he or she win?” In my opinion , to make the game about championships completely takes away from what makes it the greatest sport ever. Basketball , when its is right, is a beautiful work of art containing the science and intellect of a space lab.
I started watching the game in 1983 with my father and it wasn’t about whether Houston beat NC State but it was the movement, the athleticism, the combat that drew my almost 6 -year old eyes to the sport.
As I grew older and understood the game more, you can more appreciation for it. The Milwaukee Bucks of the 1980s are in my top 3 favorite teams ever and they never got to a NBA Finals. The “failure” to win the title does not cancel the level of skill and purity that they played up for the entire decade
The 1991 UNLV Team, Fab Five, the Calipari UMass teams, the Vince Carter-Jamison UNC teams were more important for my love of the game and hoop culture than the Duke Dynasty
The CWebb-led Kings were the bright spot in the very drab early 2000s , playing with a flair and precision we had not seen since the Showtime Lakers. Do we take off points because they couldn’t climb Mount Shaqobe? I don’t think so.
In today’s game, you have guys like Giannis , AD, at 6-11 moving and gliding up and down the court in a way their big fella predecessors couldn’t have dreamed of doing. James Harden slaloming through defenders like a 6-5, 220 pound skier and then picking out a pass 40 feet away or finishing through contact is a sight to behold. Brad Stevens has had made something as mundane as inbound plays into human chess with the shifts , motions , and deception.
Yes, we live in this world of “title or bust” , “trade talks”, “who joining who”, and other hot takes but that’s not why you and I love the game. We love the game because of the competition, the flow, the rhythm of it. The game brings strangers together to discuss it at all hours of the night (Yes, we see yall posting at 2am lol) . That is what makes the game, not who has the title.